My wife and I have found ourselves reminiscing a lot lately. Different situations between us and our daughters; of younger versions of us and our siblings/parents. Memories of home come pouring our. Today, we ask you to go back into your old room from your youth. How special was it? What memories do you have (if you have any at all)? Take us back with you and bring it all back to life in your poem.

As a wild card, if the first suggestion is a bit…painful, write about something you liked to do or a club/organization that was influential in your development! Either way, we’re taking you back



My room was ours.
My sister and I shared,
sleeping on iron
framed beds. One slid
under the other, until they were
detached to form an “L” shape.
We fought over boundaries
with imaginary lines. Times she wanted
her friends in, I wanted mine.

Mostly we were glad to have
company–giggling at night,
pleading with Mom not to turn
off the light. Neither of us outgrew
that little phobia.

When we were ill,
we would stay in our beds,
dreading sound of doctor’s
footsteps. We did not suffer
needles well, but loved
having tray tables set up,
knowing we would have
tomato soup and Ritz for lunch
I know now how lucky we were.



My grandfather, a naturalized citizen through proper channels, occupied the two back rooms of our house. Technically we occupied the front part of his house! But at this stage two rooms was all her needed. With four of us boys (and two sister siblings) we were strapped for space. To alleviate the congestion, a suggestion was made for one of us to “live” with “Dziadziu” (pronounced Ja-Ju – Polish for grandfather). I had gladly pulled that straw. A man of the world and many situations, both good and bad, had come to be a mentor and my moral compass. I had spent much of my free time in his company watching Hitchcock and Sullivan, talking about life and family, me in my naivety and he in his broken english. We shared two rooms and that had given me a life!

Wisdom sequestered
within eight walls of two rooms
lessons taught and learned

© Walter J. Wojtanik – 2016

18 thoughts on “PROMPT #199 – TAKE ME BACK


    Papa said, “You can always go back.”
    I knew I couldn’t and he was only
    saying what he did to stop my crying.
    I walked out of the bedroom one last time,
    memorizing the bare walls, the window
    where I’d watch for my stickball pals,
    the empty place where my bed had been,
    the cardboard box of comics now on the van
    heading for new adventures upstate,
    that final exit through the bedroom door.

    Papa said, “You can always go back.”
    I know now that I can. He was right.
    In boyhood Papa too had moved away,
    an ocean from his Sicilian village home
    where he said blindfolded he could walk
    without stumbling. And the memories
    his bedroom saved for him: his mother
    there when he was sick, the stories she told.
    In daydreams he said he would visit,
    spend dreamtime in the company of saints.

    Papa said, “You can always go back.”
    I often find myself in sleep returning
    To the tenement in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
    Al Cimino, Vince Accardi, Bill Hogan
    Are down on the sidewalk calling my name.
    It’s summertime. We love the Brooklyn Dodgers.
    “We got a game to play. Hurry up,” they holler.
    I’m looking out my bedroom window.
    Does the future hide behind sun-lit clouds?
    The boy I was waves a see-you-later to his room.



    A sister is a friend forever
    but she’s much more than that:
    she’s Joan of Arc and Tiny Tim
    and Casey at the bat;

    she’s playmate of the summer days
    and chilly winter nights
    who wins most games of chance and skill
    but loses pillow fights;

    she’s nurse and counsel played in one
    and judge of common pleas;
    she’s laughs; she’s tears; she knows your dreams
    and shares your memories.

    Show me what your heaven is
    and how it’s built, and where,
    and I’ll show you its building blocks:
    the love of sisters there.

  3. Church

    I didn’t go to church a lot as a child
    but I remember one time
    squirming in the pew,
    looking back behind me
    and a lady looked into my eyes and smiled.

    I wondered why and turned around.
    I had a loving family, but with five girls
    in a small house and my dad not believing
    in spanking but yelling, making eye contact
    with a smile was rare.

    It wasn’t until I was eighteen
    I realized that Jesus was like that lady.
    He looks into your eyes and smiles.

  4. Rainy Days of My Childhood

    I long so for the rainy days of my childhood
    When the inside box of stuff opened up
    And I pulled out my paper and crayons
    And drew Charlie Brown and Beetle Bailey
    When I’d get out my tablet and write
    A rainy day poem or an outer space adventure
    Complete with illustrations

    I long so for the rainy days of my childhood
    When my grandmother would set up Parcheesi
    And make me a sandwich and roll the dice
    She didn’t care if she won or she lost
    A good lesson she taught me at a young age
    Many lessons I learned for her and grandpa
    I wish they were still around

    I long so for the rainy days of my childhood
    When a book took the rain off my mind
    I’d escape in the pages of someone else’s life
    ‘Till it came time to eat, or bedtime rolled around
    Or my brother set up the chess set and compelled me
    To face his expertise with my unorthodox style
    My victories came not from books

    I long so for the rainy days of my childhood
    With three channels on a black and white TV
    Father Knows Best and Leave It To Beaver
    I Love Lucy, The Honeymooners, and Bonanza
    All great for the family to watch together
    On a rainy day when I was a child
    Such rainy days are never more

    I long so for the rainy days of my childhood
    Long before computers, tablets or cell phones
    And we weren’t afraid to go outside and get wet
    Playing football in the open field next to the house
    Adventuring through the many paths in the woods
    Soaked to the bone when we finally came home
    Not all rainy days were inside.

    I long so for the rainy days of my childhood
    If only to tell others of them

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